Lotus Elan

Front top end damper mount on +2

PostPost by: TonyJ » Sat Apr 13, 2013 4:52 pm

Excuse my ignorance but having driven my +2 for a year and getting her through this years MOT, I've just noticed that the front top end damper rubbers on both sides are not sitting flush with the chassis - see pic. The passenger side shock is beginning to push its way through the body! Am I right to think this is not right? How do I adjust to stop this?

Thanks, Tony
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PostPost by: TonyJ » Sat Apr 13, 2013 6:43 pm

Think I've found my own answer - I've forgotten to put the lower mounting rubber and washers between the shocks and chassis :oops: ! It's past 2 MOTs and been driven 2000 miles, oops :roll: . No damage seems to have been done to the chassis or suspension, just an indent into the body. Phew!

Bought new spring and shock units that came with some, but obviously not all the rubbers. How did I miss that :oops: ? D'oh! I'm now going to go over the car again from back to front to check all running gear - and then check again :D

Regards, an embarrassed, Tony
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PostPost by: Quart Meg Miles » Sat Apr 13, 2013 7:53 pm

Well done! Some of the modern rubbers are so soft they tend to go that way though not so extreme.
Meg

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PostPost by: TonyJ » Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:15 pm

There is a bush between the chassis and shock/spring unit. It was hidding! So the suspension has been rebuilt correctly. So why is there such a gap between the chassis and top bush? see previous pic.

The spring is held at the bottom on holders that are on a screw thread. Do I adjust these to make the shock/spring unit tight on the chassis?
DSC01201.JPG and
There's the bush!

These are new Spax units.

Can someone help please?

Tony
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Do I adjust on the screw thread?
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PostPost by: Quart Meg Miles » Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:43 pm

Looks like those rubbers are even softer than I remember. I would show Spax your first photo and the one confirming that the rubber is fitted but squeezed up. If they give you the Sod Off then make a spacer out of scrap material, even hardwood, to fit between the lower rubber and the chassis and fill the space, having measured the gap first. This will pull the top thread off the bodywork and give better wheel control in rebound. I'm assuming that the top nuts are tightened fully on their thread.

The bottom thread is to change the ride height but it will increase when you fit a spacer (as above) and it looks as though the Spax adjuster is set as low as possible so rotating the upper ring will make the car ride even higher. I believe the designed ride height is specified in the manual but I've not got one for a +2.
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PostPost by: cal44 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:53 pm

Tony,

the screw on the bottom of the shock only adjusts the shock, nothing more. As to your shock touching the inner fender.....so did mine, the rubber bushings were DOA. In fact mine went through when a wishbone broke at one time.

It looks like you have the keeper in place for the spring....
There should be a spacer that sits on the keeper....
Then metal under the rubber bushing that sits under the shelf where the shock shaft goes through


On top, rubber bushing, spacer and two nuts, one for tightening and the other for locking the first nut down.

It looks to me that the spring is all the way relaxed so it should be up in the upright. I think you may be missing a spacer. I don't know if these photos will help. I just went out and got them.

Are you 100 percent the spring shock combo is for your car?, where did you get the set up?

I don't want to plant a bunch of crapola' in your head but inquiring minds

I didn't install these, I don't know what the black sheets of what ever are doing there. They must have had a reason like rubbing?.

mike
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PostPost by: robertverhey » Tue Apr 23, 2013 11:06 pm

This is of interest to me as I'm just rebuilding my front end. I just checked the exploded parts diagrams on the rdent website and they show a different setup for the two seater ?lan than for the +2......

Taking it from the top, the two seater is;
Nut, nut, washer, rubber, washer, chassis, * rubber, washer, retaining ring

The +2 is as follows:
Nut, nut, washer, rubber, chassis, rubber, washer, retaining ring
And the +2 shows a tube spacer that isn't shown on the two seater.

I've always thought that in these sort of setups there should be a washer either side of the chassis to protect the rubber bushes from wear....and that's certainly what I found when dismantling (mine had an extra washer at *)

Can someone provide some definitive advice?
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PostPost by: cal44 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 11:29 pm

Robert,
I just tore apart a Plus 2 suspension that hadn't been done since it was new. Indeed the rubber bushings are directly on top and underneath the upright. No metal between the rubber and upright. The new AVO's I am installing are the same.

mike
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PostPost by: TonyJ » Sat Apr 27, 2013 1:43 pm

Bought the adjustable Spax dampers and springs from Spyder in 1997 but the car has only been on the road since last year. Put another rubber bush so now the set up is damper, bush, washer, bush, upright. The test drive showed much improved front end. The bush now sits on the spring carrier rather than the damper top end, it sits around the damper top.

I have read the previous thread on Spax dampers breaking and am worried about mine! The thread is dated in 2009 so are my ones too old? Do I stick with my new set up or buy replacements?

Also wondering how the persons in this thread fitted their units? I tried searching for pictures with no success. If anyone still has Spax set up can they PM some pictures of the top end setup please. Even if I replace the Spaxs due to breakage problems I still want to drive my car in the mean time.

DSC01206.JPG and
2 rubber bushes instead of 1


The pic below seems to show the unit fitted as mine were. When I took mine off the washer that was between the damper and bush below the upright was badly distorted by the small top diameter of the damper. Now that doesn't seem right to me - all the force is going through the small diameter top of the damper onto a wide diameter washer then rubber bush and onto upright. The washer is not that thick so gets distorted - I would think a thick washer or wider damper top was needed.

So;
1. Is my new top end set up ok?
2. Do I stick with my 1997 Spaxs with the new top end set up or buy replacements?

Please and thank you.

Tony
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PostPost by: TonyJ » Sat Apr 27, 2013 3:42 pm

Looks like Nico has the same set up in that spring carrier, or damper top, goes to a washer and then the rubber bush, then upright. But this worries me as all that force is then on a small area pushing onto the washer. Big force for a washer to withstand. Surely this will lead to the washer distorting? Am I missing something?
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PostPost by: PeterK » Sat Apr 27, 2013 9:17 pm

Hi Tony
Where are you located.

I would be very surprised if the ride height adjusting collars at the base of the shock are at the bottom with the ride height correctly set - check the spring length aginst the specs.
Adjust the top collar to remove all the slack in the spring as a minimum, bounce the car and check and if necessary adjust the ride height further up (but not down), then lock with the lower collar. With the spring loose, the handling would be dire (& probably dangerous) if you hit bumps and the front goes light.
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PostPost by: TonyJ » Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:12 pm

I'm in Sevenoaks, Kent. Been for a drive today and the front still 'rattles' but not as much. Feels better but I'm not confident. Think I'll bite the bullet and buy new dampers!

Tony
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PostPost by: PeterK » Sun Apr 28, 2013 4:01 pm

Oh, close. I'm visiting my daughter in Gillingham tomorrow evening if you fancy a drive for a second opinion.
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